Friday, 22 May 2015

This week

This week has been quite busy.   Mr A continues to work ridiculously long hours.  His schedule is almost impossible to achieve.  He has welcome meetings at hotels from Gulluk to Yalikavak and everywhere else in between, every day.  Sometimes as many as 20 hotels.  His office give him between an hour and hour and half in between each meeting, and this has to include travelling time. He is then expected to meet customers at the airport, put them on the buses and inform them of their welcome meetings the following day.  Sometimes these airport visits are around 2am or 3am.  There's very little time for sleep.

Sometimes, if he is at the airport which is just 10 minutes away from the village,  he comes home between midnight and 3am and goes straight to bed, then is up again at 7.30am.  Yesterday afternoon he actually managed to convince his boss he was almost dead on his feet and was able to grab 4 hours sleep in his personnel accommodation.

He is not the only one.  All personnel are doing the same.  It's cruel to expect people to survive this kind of life.  None of them will complain for fear of losing their jobs.  There are always plenty of others waiting to step in...and the bosses know this.   Roll on the end of the season, then maybe I can stop worrying that his lack of sleep will cause him to crash the car while he is clocking up around 400km every day.

I had two trips out this week.  An early breakfast with Mr A at one of his hotels in Gulluk on Tuesday and waited while he did his welcome meeting.  I enjoyed this brief time with him, but it was somewhat spoilt by the fact that he was running late for his next meeting, and drove like a lunatic to drop me back at the village.  If I have another opportunity to have breakfast with him I will opt for catching the bus back to avoid raising my blood pressure!

On Wednesday I met up with a friend Wendy in Milas.   We are both members of admin on a Facebook group and I first met her in Gulluk last year.  We had lunch together followed by cake and coffee, and lots of chat.  The time went very quickly but was very enjoyable.

And the dogs.   Timmy is off to the vet today to be neutered.  I am sincerely hoping that this will deter him from cocking his leg and marking his territory INSIDE the house....up chairs, the rubbish bin, the laundry basket...in fact anywhere that takes his fancy.  He even blatently does it while I'm standing next to him!   Cheeky little bugger.

I mentioned weeks ago that Blondie injured her leg (just above the ankle).  She constantly jumps and rushes about and I suspect she caught it on the wall whilst barking at the sheep.  I treated it with antibacterial powder, then antibiotic cream, and she also had an antibiotic injection.   It heals ...she licks it...and it opens up again.

My vet saw it at one point where it was healing and said it was OK.  I spoke to him about it again this week and he suggests I continue with what I am doing.   I wash it each day with a saline solution and apply antibacterial powder.  I tried a bandage one day and put a plastic bucket collar on her but she still managed to remove the dressing.  Although it is better if it's left open.   I am struggling on with the treatment...now twice a day, and I also have a course of penicillin injections.  Fingers crossed this does the trick.

All my other dogs are fine.  I have checked on our feeders...Annie's mum, the old man and the sanayi man and they are all continuing to do what we have asked of them.  I will be arranging delivery of more food at the end of next week.   Thankyou once again to those of you who donated last week which enabled me to buy more food.  I will need more next week, and thereafter, so any further donations would be most welcome.

And that's my weekly update.   Have a good weekend everyone xx

Monday, 18 May 2015

ROSİE NEEDS A HOME

This gentle little girl first appeared in Gokova about two months ago.





Beria, who feeds and cares for countless dogs in Gokova and the surrounding areas, saw that she had mange and treated her for this, thanks to a donation from one of my supporters, Christine.   It also appears that she was run over and was seen with a bleeding nose but she then disappeared again.

Beria has continued to search for her, and other Gokova volunteers, Sonia and Janice, have also been on the lookout for her.

She was found again by Beria outside the kennels in Gokova, and promptly disappeared again.  Until last week, when she was finally caught, having been run over yet again. 


She is now in the vet clinic, she has a broken hip and ringworm, and is being treated for these.




This lovely girl clearly cannot manage life on the streets and desperately needs a home.  A permanant home would be ideal of course, but urgent foster placement would help in the meantime.

All her costs will be covered.

If you are able to give Rosie a home, please contact me on here or on Facebook, or join Gokova Animal Rescue page (the link can be found on my sidebar), or contact Beria Atamturk.

This is urgent, so even if you can't give Rosie a home,  sharing this blog on your Facebook page will be helpful.

Thankyou.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Mr A's job and delivering food for the dogs

Mr A had a rare opportunity to get home for a few hours late yesterday afternoon.   He is working so hard and as usual his Turkish boss is getting more than his pound of flesh.   As a holiday rep he has the responsibility for around 20 hotels.  He has been provided with a car and is clocking up approximately 400 km per day.  He has to meet customers at the airport and put them on the transfer buses.  He spends each day going from one hotel to another doing welcome meetings and dealing with customer problems.  He is working far too many hours and not getting enough sleep.

I worry about him.  I am concerned that he will have an accident in the car.  In fact he told me yesterday that he had skidded on the road earlier this week after it had rained and bumped the front of the car.   The cost of repairing the damage was 150 lira.  One would have thought that as this is a company car it would be covered by company insurance.  It probably is, but Mr A had to pay for the repair.   Not fair  is it?  But nothing is fair when it comes to seasonal work in Turkey.  I wish he would take one day off each week...just to sleep...but he won't because the season is short and he is trying to earn as much money as possible to get us through the long winter months.

It would have been good for him to have stayed last night, to get some sleep.  However, he arrived home at about 6pm and needed to be at the airport (10 minutes from here) at 9.15pm to meet customers.  

Our three "feeders", Annie's mum (who now feeds 4 more dogs as well as Annie), the old man on the outskirts of the village who feeds 9 or 10 dogs, and the sanayi man who feeds more than 20 dogs, all have Mr A's phone number.  They let him know when stocks are running low.  Mr A's last delivery was just before I returned from England.  As he was coming home every day to feed our dogs, it was possible for him to deliver to them.

As the season gets under way there will be less opportunity for him to deliver food, so we decided to go to Milas yesterday to buy more food and make another delivery.

First we went to the sanayi and saw, amongst others, Kahve, Nancy, and the dog we managed to save after he was poisoned.  Kahve has had mange on two occasions and we have treated this.  He is now doing well, his coat is lovely and no sign of mange.   Nancy is looking good, as is the dog who was poisoned...both well fed and healthy.  I had left my phone at home and Mr A's battery was flat which is a shame because I would love to have taken photos of these happy dogs.

Next we went to Annie's house.   The family was out so we left the sacks of food in a safe place.  We couldn't see Annie anywhere but after Mr A whistled for 5 minutes she appeared, wagging her tail.  In spite of her deformity she is doing so well, running and jumping, and was very pleased to see us.

Finally to the outskirts of the village in the opposite direction to the house of the old man.  He was also out but we already have a safe place to leave the food, and we chatted to his neighbours who are very nice people and have no objections to the 9 or 10 dogs that arrive each day to be fed.  In spite of the animosity towards street dogs from a lot of the villagers, it is reassuring to know that not everyone hates them or wishes them harm.

We returned home and Mr A had just enough time for a sandwich before setting off to the airport.

Thankyou to those of you who have donated this week, which enabled us to stock up with food again.  I am so grateful.  As you know this is ongoing, so anyone who wishes to give a little something to help, you will find the paypal button at the top of this page.  Thankyou xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Timmy is ready for the chop

I wasn't going to blog about an incident I experienced yesterday.  I shared it with a friend and we did laugh at the ridiculousness of it.   However, on reflection I felt that my solution to the "problem" worked and might be useful for others who have male dogs.

I am in the process of sorting out an appointment for Timmy to be neutered.  He is humping everything in sight at the moment.  It's difficult to get hold of my vet just now.  His wife's baby is due anytime so I'm sure he has other things on his mind.

We know that young male dogs get very excited and produce an erection.  It's normal and eventually subsides.  This happened with Timmy yesterday.  But I found him in his bed shaking and when I picked him up I discovered that the testicles as well as the penis were outside the foreskin.  I have never experienced this before with my other male dogs.  He seemed quite distressed and I had no idea what I could do to help him.

Thinking quickly I wondered if I should ring my vet and ask if this was normal.   Mr A is not around.  I had visions of Timmy being stuck with this predicament and my having to take him on the dolmus to the vet in Milas...and the looks I might get from the villagers....they already think I'm mad so this would confirm it.

Of course we all know the advice given to excitable human males about taking a cold shower so I wondered if this might do the trick.   I held Timmy's bits  under the running cold tap and after about 5 minutes everything was back in place where it should be.   I dried him off and he went to sleep...no doubt traumatised by the experience.

...and no....there is no photo to accompany this post.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Cutbacks....

....sadly I will need to make them.  Unless I can find a way of raising money.

I really hate having to do blog posts asking for donations, but sometimes it reaches a point where I just have to.   I have now reached that point.

I have committed myself to feeding and caring for a fair number of dogs.  We are fortunate to have found people locally that we have persuaded to feed dogs for us.  We are delighted that Mr A's constant efforts at changing this village mentality has started to pay off.   It would be even better if we didn't have to provide the food for them, but these are not wealthy people.  They are poor farming folk, who have very little.  However, I can't put a price on their generosity of spirit.  And I don't want to ever reach a point where I have to say to them "I'm sorry, I just don't have the money to provide any more food".

Do you remember that blog post I did a while ago entitled "False Accusations"?  If you don't, have a look at it again  CLİCK HERE.    Since then, many people have contacted me, correctly guessing the name of the person who posted this libellous comment.  She has also made a similar comment since then.  I have also been reliably informed that she thinks that if she makes such comments, it will stop people donating to me, and will give to her instead.   This is so futile.  I don't really understand this mentality.  Surely we are all just trying to do the best we can for the street dogs here.

We should all be working together.  Thankfully, the majority of people who have involved themselves in animal welfare here in Turkey, do just that.  We all help each other out whenever we can.

At this point I want to thank the few people who donate a regular monthly amount.  I would like to mention their names, but I won't.  Why?  Because I have been told that "this person" actually targets those who donate to other causes....she contacts them, and with more libellous comments attempts to persuade them to donate to her instead.

Of course I have no proof of this, but it frankly wouldn't surprise me.  So I won't mention your names, but thank you sincerely for your continued support.  You know who you are.

And thankyou also to those of you who have donated individual amounts, some on more than one occasion, which have been so gratefully received.

Many of the animal groups here live in areas where there are other expats, and tourists.  Because of this they are able to hold fundraising events to support their work.

I am not in a position to do this.  I am the only foreigner in this remote village, so I have to rely on my blog to get my message out.

Your donations really help, but they don't cover the continuing cost of dogfood and vet bills.  I carry on, as I always have, using my own limited resources as well.   I don't want to reach a point where I am unable to do this.  If you feel you would like to help me to continue to do what I can for these dogs, then a donation would be very welcome, no matter how small.   Thankyou.

(You will find the Paypal button at the top of this blog)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Taking my eye off the ball

A two week visit to England not only takes lots of preparation beforehand, but lots of sorting out to be done when I return.

Mr A started work on 1st April for a tour company in Bodrum.  He is working as a holiday rep, doing aırport runs, welcome meetings, selling trips and generally sorting our tourist problems for more than 10 hotels.  It was a bit of a struggle for him to have to come home every evening to feed our 10 dogs, catch some sleep, feed them again in the morning, and set off back to work.

He managed it all OK and the dogs were all fine.

Before I left we had delivered supplies of dog food to Annie's "mum", for Annie and the other 4 dogs now being fed by her.  To the old man who now feeds 10 dogs each day, and who is also feeding the stragglers that appear near the teahouse each evening.  And of course to the man at the sanayi who feeds in excess of 20 dogs each day.

Last week he also collected more food from our vet to deliver again to our feeders.

He collected me from the airport just after 7.30am yesterday and literally dropped me outside our gate with my luggage and dashed off to work again.  Goodness knows when I'll see him again.
The house was chaotic to say the least.  I don't understand how one man can make so much mess but I'll forgive him as he clearly didn't have time to clean up.  So yesterday, instead of sleeping, I set to and cleaned.  Not as well as I should have done, partly due to Mr A having blocked the vacuum cleaner on the one occasion he used it, which blew dust out every time I switched it on.  I've cleaned it as best I can but it's not working as well as it should.

The washing machine was going non-stop, but I still found time to clean out the big dogs area, and to spend some time playing with them.....and also lots of cuddles with the small dogs.  I am amazed at how Tımmy has grown.  He is now as big as Tommy.  Those of you who remember the day I collected him...Sonia, Pat, and Chris....and of course Rachel who fostered him, would be so surprised to see him now!  (Photos to follow when I have time).

This morning my friend David collected me and we went to Milas to do shopping.  Two more sacks of dogfood, plus all the essentials like washing powder, bleach etc that seem to have run out at the same time.  And of course, food...the fridge was bare on my return.

This afternoon I did a pile of ironing and also watered the garden.  Unfortunately I was distracted and forgot to switch off the hosepipe.  The garden is now well and truly watered.  No bad thing as the temperatures are rising now.

I caught a cold while I was in England and it wouldn't clear up.  It has now affected my sinuses which made flying very uncomfortable.  I am left with pain above my eyes, my cheeks and particularly my ears.  I have medication so hopefully it will clear up soon.

And talking of taking my eye off the ball, I finally sat down and worked out the dog feeding and vet finances, and although we have paid the vet for some of the food, we still owe him money.  I have been spending my money on the food for the street dogs too and am going to need to catch up as soon as I can, as more stocks need to be bought again if we are to continue to care for the dogs in our area.

If you would like to donate to help with the feeding and vet treatment, no matter how small an amount, it will be very gratefully received.  (You will find the Paypal button at the top of the page).

Finally, I'll leave you with 3 photos of Billy and Jimi.  I got prints of these and have them on my wall in the kitchen, where I can see them every day, to remind me how much I adore these two little boys.




Sunday, 3 May 2015

Mixed feelings

I have two more days here in England before I return home.  Every time I visit, at this stage of the trip, I have conflicting emotions.   It's a horrible feeling.  It's like I want to split myself in two and leave half of me here and send the other half home to Turkey.

I didn't see my daughter and the boys yesterday.  I always feel at this point that I need to detach myself a bit...to get used to the idea of not being here every day.    As each day passes the boys are getting used to me being around.  I have taken Jimi to nursery school and he chats to me on the way there.  I love his little voice.  I'm in tears now thinking about how I will miss this.

Billy is such a clever boy.  He is already having French lessons and is showing an interest in languages.  He wants to learn Turkish and I have promised to send him some books when I return home.  In the meantime I bought him the only book I could find in W.H Smıths...a Lonely Planet guide and phrase book, which means he will no doubt know more Turkish than me by the time I visit again.

The other half of me misses my husband and my dogs.  I know Mr A is struggling trying to juggle work with getting home to look after the dogs, and will be relieved when I return early Tuesday morning.

I will be back in  England again in September for my niece's wedding, so it's not so long to wait.  I will of course experience these mixed feelings every time I visit.  

If only I could have all those I love in the same place.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Wish you were here....

...well not really.  It's been a hectic week here in England.  I am enjoying the time with my daughter, Billy and Jimi immensely but I am exhausted.

I have walked an awful lot and I have blisters on my feet and my back aches.  A sign that old age is creeping up on me.

Nevertheless, two weeks is never long enough and I am sure this coming week will just fly by.

Billy celebrated his 6th birthday on Thursday, and some of the family popped in after school.  His great-grandfather bought a sandpit as a joint present for Billy and Jimi (whose birthday is on Wednesday) and they had great fun in it.

Billy



Jimi



My daughter and I had an enjoyable lunch out on Friday, and we plan to do the same again on Monday.  I miss her so much and love these precious moments with her.

Yesterday I saw my neice's daughter Elsie, who was born in February.  Beautiful little girl, and last night my brother and sister-in-law took me out for a meal.

Having a cuddle with baby Elsie


Today the boys have a joint party, with a disco, and there will be 40 children there.   It will probably be the most hectic day so far, but I am looking forward to it!

Mr A is managing to get home fairly early every day from work to look after the dogs.  Timmy seems to be outgrowing his bed so I'm afraid Mr A has allowed him onto the bed with the other three little ones.   I would not have given in so soon but Mr A let's the dogs get away with so much.

Timmy getting too big for his bed

The four little ones having a rough and tumble this morning before Mr A left for work


That's all my news for now.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Preparing to go away....

It takes a lot of organising, that's for sure, and it's never straightforward.

Tommy had conjuctivitis last week.  We got drops from the vet and it seemed to have cleared up after a couple of days.  In the meantime he passed it on to Timmy, who then passed it on to Monty, who passed it back to Tommy.   Clearly Tommy didn't want Fistik to be left out, so he passed it on to her.

Luckily we have enough drops to go around, and it seems to be doing the trick, although I will be popping into the vet tomorrow to get another bottle.  Monty has also reacted to the paraband collar and his neck is a little sore.  He has sensitive skin and it was quite nasty when he first came to us, but he has had no problems since.  My remedy for this condition has been a drop of olive oil in his food every day.  In fact I put it in the food for all my dogs, and they have shiny healthy coats.

The collar has been removed and I will get spot-on flea and tick treatment from the vet.

So I'm off to England early on Tuesday morning.   Mr A has been staying in personnel accommodation to save petrol costs, but he will be coming home every day for the two weeks I'm away.  He will feed them every morning, and be home between 5 and 6pm, feed them again and be here all night.   They are all safe and quite happy to be outside during the day, particularly as the weather is now warmer.  The 6 big dogs have the run of the side and back of the house, and the 4 little ones the driveway and the balcony (which is sheltered from the sun).  The big gate that Mr A built has a double lock on it, so no chance of anyone opening it.

The bad news is that Mr A's motorbike has been stolen from outside his accommodation.  He has informed the police, who said that a number have been stolen in the area recently.  I think it's unlikely he'll see it again.  It is only insured for traffic accidents, not for theft, so that's that.

This means that he will have to use the bus to get to and from work while I'm away, but as he is not yet busy, he will be able to leave early enough.  He asked to borrow a car from his boss to come home on Monday to take me to the aırport early Tuesday morning, and the boss said he would let him know.   I hate uncertainty and leaving things till the last minute, so my friend David is kindly taking me to the aırport.

The people feeding dogs for us in the village and sanayi have been stocked up with food, and I have bought enough for our dogs for the two weeks I'm away.

I keep thinking I must have forgotten something, and didn't sleep last night because I was anxious.  Although  I wouldn't have got much sleep anyway because the dogs were barking most of the night.  One of the hazards of the warmer weather.  They sleep in the sun all day and are wide awake at night.

I'd like to think that my two weeks away would give me time to relax, but with two young grandsons keeping me busy...it's not likely!   However, I am so looking forward to seeing them...I'll catch up with sleep when I get back!

Billy today at the park

and Jimi 

PS.  I've written about Gokova Animal Rescue on here several times, and mentioned how I appreciate support from Sonia Garnett who runs it.  I have been added as an Admin to the group on Facebook to help her and existing Admin when necessary.

If you are not already on this group page, and would like to read about the good work they do in their area, this is the LİNK 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Monday Update

After Olive left on Friday I was pretty upset.  I was determined to get her to fit in but it wasn't to be.  Although shortly after she left, the other dogs seemed to visibly relax and get back to their normal selves.  Fistik stopped going to the toilet in the house, and there was much less aggitated barking from the big dogs.  I hadn't realised until that point how stressed they (and I) had become over the previous few days.  So I am satisfied that the right decision was made both for Olive and all of our dogs.

Tommy had an eye infection but because I was stuck at home and unable to leave the dogs I wasn't able to get to the vet to get treatment.  On Saturday afternoon Mr A popped home and went into Milas to collect two lots of eye drops.  We discovered that Annie also had an eye infectıon.  So he took the drops to Annie's "mum" and showed her how to administer them.  Tommy has had the drops for three days now and the infection has cleared up.

We also needed more food for the people feeding dogs in the village and sanayi.  The old man is now feeding at least 10 dogs, as well as a few more that Mr A was feeding in the village each evening. which he has agreed to do while Mr A is away working.

Annie's mum is feeding her and four more dogs, and the man at the sanayi is feeding more than 20 dogs each day, so Mr A collected more sacks from Milas and delivered to these kind and helpful people.

We are currently getting through at least five or six 15kg sacks of food each week.  We supplement this with pasta mixed with wet food, and the sanayi man, Annie's mum and the old man also give any scraps they have.  Each 15kg sack costs around £13 so as you can imagine it's becoming difficult to raise sufficient funds to cover this.  At the moment we are using our own limited resources to fund the feeding programme, so donations are always welcome.  A big thankyou to everyone who has donated to date and to those who have kindly set up monthly standing orders with Paypal.  This is very useful and enables me to budget.

Jacky, who took Lucy and her 7 pups to safety, is in the UK at the moment, but I have heard that the pups and Lucy have settled well, and there is another Mum and pups there too, so they have company.

Jet and Butch, who were Lucy's bodyguards when she was still in the village are now turning up to be fed by the old man in the village each evening.  I am pleased about this because we felt that the area where they were previously, with Lucy, isn't safe.

I went into Milas this morning with my friend David and collected a further two 15kg sacks of food and a dozen tins of wet food which were on special offer in Kipa.   I am stocking up as much as possible because I go to England next Tuesday for two weeks for my grandsons' 4th and 6th birthdays.  Mr A will still be working but will come home late afternoon every day and stay overnight to look after our dogs.

And that's my Monday update.